If Peter Forsberg wants to win the Stanley Cup, then picking the Senators over the Leafs is a no-brainer, says Daniel Alfredsson.
The Senators captain hasn't spoken with the free-agent centre, but he plans to try to convince his fellow Swede that Ottawa is the place to be if he plays in NHL this season.
Alfredsson said he's not sure if he pulls more weight than Leafs captain and countryman Mats Sundin, but indicated if Forsberg wants a realistic chance to win a championship then Ottawa would be a better choice than Toronto.
"I don't know, but I think our situation should be able to catch (Forsberg's) eye," Alfredsson said yesterday. "Looking at the team we have and the opportunity we have here, I'm sure he'll realize how close we were last year and he could be the one who could add that little bit of extra confidence for us."
Senators GM Bryan Murray, who is trying to add a top-six forward, has spoken with Forsberg's agent, Don Baizley, three times and has also asked Alfredsson to phone Forsberg and talk up Ottawa.
"I'm going to try (to get him to come to the Senators)," said Alfredsson. "I'm going to try to talk to him to see where he's at. I think he would be a tremendous fit on this team. He would fit in really good. He wouldn't have all the pressure on him.
"I believe he's the kind of guy who could handle that. He could come in and just be himself. There's a lot of ifs, but if it were to happen, it would be a good fit."
Alfredsson is a huge fan of Forsberg's. Not only have they competed against each other in the NHL, they won a gold medal together with Sweden at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, and have been teammates on several world championship squads.
Alfredsson said he believes Forsberg, who finished last year with the Predators, still has a lot to contribute.
"He's a complete player," said Alfredsson. "He can play in all situations and obviously he's always been at his best when it matters the most. He knows what it takes and he's such a competitive guy that he really just thrives on the big games."
There is plenty of interest in Forsberg. It's believed up to half the teams in the NHL have inquired about Forsberg.
Forsberg is recovering from a complicated off-season ankle surgery and a recent procedure for a hernia.
The belief is Forsberg won't make a decision on his future until late November, which means this is going to drag on for a while.
NO SHOT HERE: W Jeff O'Neill has shut the door on his chance to play for the Senators. Murray confirmed a Sun report yesterday that the free-agent winger turned down a chance to come to Ottawa for a meeting a couple of weeks ago.
"I offered to meet with (O'Neill) just to have a conversation based on whether we wanted to do this together or not," said Murray.
"The day before the meeting, I got a call saying (O'Neill) had decided that maybe they would wait and look around."
Murray said he wasn't interested in O'Neill if he doesn't want to be in the club's camp.
THE GAMES BEGIN: The Senators will get down to business tonight. After only three days of training camp, the Senators are set to open the pre-season against the Flyers tonight at the John Labatt Centre in London.
G Martin Gerber will start and play the whole game, but Wade Redden, Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, Alfredsson, Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov are all being left at home.
PULL UP YOUR SOCKS, KID: Coach John Paddock said C Nick Foligno has to be better. "He has to pick up his socks," said Paddock. "I don't think he's done anything compared to last year."